Zero-emission trucks: new Chair of ACEA Commercial Vehicle Board pleas for infrastructure ramp-up

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The European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA) has elected Martin Lundstedt, CEO of Volvo Group, to chair its Commercial Vehicle Board for the year ahead.

“2022 will be a decisive year on the road to zero-emission road freight transport,” Mr Lundstedt said.

The European Parliament and national governments are currently discussing the proposed Alternative Fuels Infrastructure Regulation (AFIR), which will bring in binding targets for charging and refuelling infrastructure for each EU member state. The European Commission is also set to propose revised CO2 standards for heavy-duty vehicles later this year.

“Battery electric trucks are ready to hit the road in large numbers, and fuel-cell trucks will follow shortly,” explained Mr Lundstedt. “However, transport operators’ ability to invest in zero-emission trucks is directly linked to the availability of the right charging and refuelling infrastructure.”

“Unfortunately, the infrastructure that is suited to the specific needs of heavy-duty vehicles is almost completely missing today,” Lundstedt cautioned.

“This is something that the AFIR needs to address urgently, with dedicated and ambitious targets for truck-specific infrastructure. It is very simple: no transport operator will ever buy a battery-electric truck unless they can charge it for smooth and seamless operations.”

Policy makers need to fully understand that setting AFIR targets for heavy-duty vehicles now – ahead of the revision of the CO2 standards later in 2022 – will effectively predetermine the CO2 reductions that can be expected from road freight by the end of this decade.

ACEA also reiterates that the requirements of truck infrastructure are completely different to those for passenger cars – particularly with respect to location, space and minimum power output levels.

ACEA’s CV Board of Directors elects its Chairperson on an annual basis. Mr Lundstedt takes over the position from Martin Daum, CEO of Daimler Truck.